Smash Pages Q&A | Noah Van Sciver

The critically acclaimed cartoonist discusses his two latest projects, ‘Joseph Smith and the Mormons’ and ‘As a Cartoonist.’

Noah Van Sciver has always been a prolific cartoonist. This summer he released two new books, which represent the best work he’s done so far in his career.

Joseph Smith and the Mormons, which is out now from Abrams, is a project Van Sciver has been working on for more than a decade. To say that it’s Van Sciver’s best book, which I believe, is to sell it short, because the book is also the most ambitious project that Van Sciver has attempted. The book looks at the life of Smith and, without captions or word balloons, manages to convey so much information as it charts the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s an incredible work of cartooning and of history.

His other book is As a Cartoonist, a collection of short comics published by Fantagraphics, which were made in the same period, and share a number of concerns and approaches. Both books are deeply personal in different ways. I’ve talked with Van Sciver a few times over the years, and I was thrilled to be able to talk with him about these two books.

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Quick Hits | Hotel strike impacts Comic-Con events

Plus: Rick Veitch, Noah Van Sciver, Jeff Smith, Coagula and the infamous Hall H line!

Conventions | Both Voice of San Diego and ICv2 report on the workers’ strike at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego, which is adjacent to the convention center where Comic-Con International is held every year and where many CCI events and panels are held. According to Voice of San Diego, workers and management have been negotiating for months, but could not come to an agreement.

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What Are You Reading? | A whole lotta Moon Knight

See what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately, from Noah Van Sciver, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Si Spurrier and more.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately. Today’s reviews include a whole lot of Moon Knight, plus Amazing Spider-Man, Brubaker and Phillips’ Reckless and much more.

Let us know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments or on social media.

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Grateful Dead get an origin story thanks to Z2 Comics

Noah Van Sciver and Chris Miskiewicz will take you back to the beginning of the Dead’s long, strange trip.

Z2 Comics has teamed up with the Grateful Dead for Grateful Dead Origins, a graphic novel detailing the band’s early days. And they’ve recruited Chris Miskiewicz and Noah Van Sciver to tell the story.

“We’ve seen many archival releases that offer magnificent audio representations of the Grateful Dead’s history, and several filmed interpretations of the Dead’s story. To these, we’re thrilled to add to the Dead’s narrative canon this beautiful portrayal of the Dead’s origin story in the form of this wonderful new comic,” said Grateful Dead audiovisual archivist and legacy manager David Lemieux. “Chris and Noah have captured the Dead’s sensibility in their words and images that bring to life on the page the earliest days of the Grateful Dead, from the band’s founding in 1965 through to Woodstock. We couldn’t be happier to be partnering with such talented artists who have delved so deeply into the Dead’s history and origin.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Noah Van Sciver

The creator of ‘Blammo’ and Fante Bukowski discusses his latest projects, ‘One Dirty Tree’ and ‘A Perfect Failure.’

Noah Van Sciver has had an incredibly successful and productive year. The cartoonist released a new issue of his comic Blammo, and three books of his are out from two publishers this fall. Uncivilized Press just released One Dirty Tree, a comics memoir about his childhood and the end of a relationship just as he was about to turn thirty. Fantagraphics is publishing A Perfect Failure: Fante Bukowski Three, which completes a trilogy of books about the annoying and hilarious talentless writer who named himself Fante Bukowski, and a sketchbook by Van Sciver, Constant Companion.

One Dirty Tree and A Perfect Failure are possibly Van Sciver’s best books, and he took some time out after recovering from con crud to discuss the books and his current project.

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Comics Lowdown: CxC guest list unveiled

Plus news and updates on Noah Van Sciver, Ivan Brunetti, Thom Zahler, Hannah Berry and more.

Tom Spurgeon unveils the logo and guest list for this year’s Cartoon Crossroads Columbus festival, of which he is the executive director. Here’s the roster:

That’s Derf Backderf, Peter Bagge, Kyle Baker, Darrin Bell, Howard Cruse, Lilli Carré and Alexander Stewart, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kat Fajardo, Emil Ferris, Ann Marie Fleming, Matt Fraction, Jennifer Holm, Kevin Huizenga, Nilah Magruder, Ann Nocenti, Laura Park, Dav Pilkey, Mimi Pond, Dana Simpson, Chris Sprouse, Leslie Stein, Tillie Walden, Connor Willumsen and Judd Winick.

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Birdcage Bottom benefit backs ACLU

Publisher/distributor J.T. Yost shares more on his current fundraiser.

Birdcage Bottom Books, which publishes minicomics and distributes for other small presses and individuals, is running a fundraiser through the month of February: 50% of the sales of selected comics will go to the ACLU. This is a great opportunity to pick up minicomics by rising and accomplished creators such as Glynis Fawkes, Whit Taylor, Hazel Newlevant, Kevin Budnik, and Jonathan Baylis, and help a great cause at the same time.

I checked in with J.T. Yost, who runs Birdcage Bottom and publishes his own comics there, to find out more about the fundraiser—and ask for some personal recommendations!

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Check out this preview of Paul Buhle and Noah Van Sciver’s ‘Johnny Appleseed’

Paul Buhle and Noah Van Sciver explore the historical John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, in a new graphic novel due out this fall.

The popular image of Johnny Appleseed is a sort of crazy guy who promoted healthy eating by planting apple trees and went around with a pot on his head. But there’s a lot more to him than that, and this fall (just in time for apple season!), Alternative Press will be publishing Paul Buhle and Noah Van Sciver’s Johnny Appleseed.

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